Cinderella Tutu

Cinderella Tutu

Monday, April 15, 2013

Birthday Invitation Tutorial!

I'm so excited to have Imma's birthday invitations (almost) finished! I know I went to a lot of trouble to make my soon-to-be 6 year old invitations that she probably will never appreciate.  So far everyone that has seen them (my husband and one of my sisters) has said, "Uhm, why are you doing that? You can buy already made invitations."  I know--I get that--but I like to make stuff!  So I decided to make them myself.  It has been a very long process but that's probably because I am making so many.  If you are only making 20 or so, you could knock this out in about 2 hours.  It's taken me a little longer since I'm making a lot more. . . .
Here's a tutorial describing how I made these shabby chic/vintage Alice in Wonderland birthday invitations.
Alice in Wonderland birthday invitation

You will need the following:
scrapbooking paper or cardstock with whatever pattern or color(s) you prefer
scissors and a ruler or paper crafting cutting tool/board
a Cricut or other die-cut machine
Disney Classic Cricut Cartridge featuring Alice in Wonderland
Black card stock
White card stock
computer with printer
glue stick
whole punch, preferably the kind that makes a ribbon slot

Step 1: Measure the size of your envelopes.  You want to make sure that the invitation will fit inside of the envelope without having to cram it in.  Since you will be attaching a ribbon to the top of the invitation, you will need some extra room, especially if you are planning to seal and/or mail the invitation. I purchased 8.75" by 5.75" envelopes from The Paper Studio at Hobby Lobby.  I really like this brand because they are durable and elegant but they don't cost too much.  I got a package of  50 envelopes for $6.99.

Step 2: Measure and cut your paper.  You can do this with a ruler and scissors if that's what you have available. I have a paper-crafting cutting board made by Elmers and Xacto which I really like a lot.  The paper I had was 12" by 12".  I decided I could get two invitations out of each piece so I cut the width at 5.5".  I cut the height to 8.25" so there would be plenty of room in the envelope. I also stopped to make sure the first piece of paper would fit into the envelope before I cut them all.  Another tip, it's easier for me to cut all of the paper one way and then go back and cut all of it the other way so that I'm not constantly moving my straight each around on the board.
The first round of cuts!
Trimming all of the paper

Step 3: Die-cut your characters.  This actually took forever because I was making so many and because I bought card stock in 8.5" by 11" instead of 12" by 12".  My Cricut has issues recognizing other sizes of paper so I couldn't just tell it to fill the sheet or it would have been cutting off of the paper.  So I had to do a little more entering of information than I would have if I would have gotten larger paper. I purchased the Disney Classic Characters Cricut cartridge (say that 10 times fast!) on eBay for about $30 just to get the Alice and Mad Hatter. I love my Cricut and I've had it for about 6 years but I have never once attempted to actually layer a character the way they describe it on the cartridge. I prefer to use black and make the outline of the character.  It still adds the details of the face and other features, it's just not in all of those colors.  I know some of the newer Cricuts have better features and if you have one and can pull that off, go for it.  But I think the "shadow" character looks classy and I really like the way it turned out.
My Cricut, cutting away!

You still get all of the detail, just none of the color.

Step 4:  I actually asked my husband to do this part, which saved some time for me and gave him the opportunity to contribute.  You will need to type up and print off the message you are including in your invitation. Again, we used 8.5" by 11" card stock in white and just put 4 of the message on each sheet.  I asked him to put a double-border around each block so I could cut on one line and still have a border left. I also had to cut all of these apart, which took a while.  I did it by hand because I didn't trust the paper cutter to such delicate work!

Step 5:  Assembly! This part is pretty simple.  Just glue your message centered onto the paper you cut earlier in step one.  Add your die-cuts wherever you would like.  I actually discovered that you can flip the Cricut die-cuts over and you really can't tell which is the front and which is the back.  This was helpful since the Mad Hatter and Alice were originally facing the same direction and I didn't like that.

Step 6: Hole-punch the top of the card and slip the ribbon through.  I cut the ribbon about 8" so I could get it through with no problem and still be able to make the bow.  I did not glue the bow down but you could if you wanted to, just to make sure it doesn't spin.
Characters added, ribbon hole punched!
Finished Alice in Wonderland Birthday Invitation!

That's it!  It really wasn't that difficult and, in my opinion, it looks just as good, probably better, than most store bought cards. I have seen some really cute invitations on Etsy and I am considering listing these. I would be able to make them for just about any Disney character and a lot of generic themes. What do you think?  Should I add them to the store? Anyone considering taking on this project? Has anyone else ever made their own invitations? I hope you found this tutorial helpful!